Bill Shankly

Born in the tiny mining village of Glenbuck, near Muirkirk, East-Ayrshire, where football was more than just a distraction from the hardship of the pit, it was a way of life, Bill Shankly (1913-1981) grew up as one of five professional football playing brothers. His greatest achievements as a footballer were winning an FA Cup medal with Preston North End and the five caps he won for Scotland between 1938 and 1939. He would undoubtedly have gained more success as an international player had it not been for the outbreak of the Second World War.

Shankly is remembered most fondly though, not as a player, but as a manager. After spells managing Carlisle, Grimsby, Workington and Huddersfield he got the job of managing Liverpool. While there he developed a strong youth policy and led his team from strength to strength with victory after victory, both in the domestic English league and in Europe. Liverpool won the league under Shankly in 1966 and 1973, the UEFA Cup in 1973 and the FA Cup in 1965 and 1974. He retired a hero in Tyneside, choosing Bob Paisley to succeed him. 

Bill Shankly died a few years later in his adopted home of Liverpool in 1981. Along with Matt Busby, and fellow Scots Jock Stein and Alex Fergusson he is regarded as one of the greatest football managers that Britain has ever produced. He is remembered almost as warmly for his quick wit and passion for football as he is as a manager. One of his most quoted remarks is:  "Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I don't like that attitude. I can assure them it's much more serious than that". Sadly the village of Glenbuck also died around the same time as it's most famous son. As the industry that had created and supported many such small communities in the South West of Scotland fell into decline so did they, when the pits closed the families which they supported left the area to find work elsewhere.

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